Radical innovation at Turkish Airlines Ladies Open boosts value for broadcasters and sponsors seeking to avoid ‘Sunday clutter’
The Ladies European Tour (LET) is leading the way in experimenting with the way golf is consumed. As part of the LET’s dynamic ‘More than a Tour’ marketing and event strategy the 2015 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open is the first tournament on any major golf tour to finish on a Wednesday. The tournament is to be played from Sunday 17th to Wednesday 20th May.
The pioneering move is one of a tranche of innovations aimed at boosting the profile of the sport both on television and at the event and has been met with enthusiasm from broadcasters and commercial partners.
The growing tournament will be broadcast on live television in 60 countries and 243 million homes, and there is record prize money of 500,000 euros, an increase of 100 per cent on 2014.
Further innovations such as floodlit 18th hole coverage may prepare the ground for a potential floodlit tournament in the future.
Breaking with the traditional Sunday finish will ensure that the tournament receives extended live television coverage on Sky Sports and Golf Channel and will be watched in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Ivan Khodabakhsh, the LET’s CEO: “The Ladies European Tour (LET) strategy includes exploring new ways to provide maximum exposure to women’s golf, widening the fan base beyond traditional golf fans, reflecting the reality of changed consumer behaviours and avoiding busy weekends which are over populated with so many sports.”
The LET and players on the tour will be supporting the initiative through social media with the #LETwednesday and #LOVEwednesday hashtags, along with the LET changing it’s social media profile for the tournament.
The story comes after the LET recently announced a new ten-year deal with premier watchmaker Omega, and a lucrative extension to its broadcast deal with Sky Sports in the UK.
The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open is a popular tournament on the LET and continues to grow.
Dr Bulent Göktuna, the Chairman of Mineks International, event promoter: “The doubling of the prize fund to 500,000 Euro is the first step. Our ambition is to put the event on to the world stage. The Wednesday finish is unique for all, but will have a massive effect on the TV exposure worldwide.”
Carin Koch, 2015 European Solheim Cup Captain: “The Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort is a first class resort with all of the amenities that a golfer could possibly want. The superb golf course is conveniently located in front of the impressive hotel. I always enjoy visiting Turkey as it’s the perfect destination for Europeans to catch some sunshine whatever the season. I very much look forward to next year’s tournament which will provide me with the perfect opportunity to watch some of the players who will be under consideration for my European Solheim Cup Team.”
This September, the LET’s players will compete for a third victory in a row at the Solheim Cup, played at the St Leon-Rot Club in Germany. The bidding process for the 2019 Solheim Cup has attracted formal interest from ten European countries, delegations from which attended a bidding seminar at LET headquarters at the The Buckinghamshire Club in the UK.